I recently gave a presentation to a client’s sales team focused on the importance of social media being part of the sales process. Social selling is the future of sales. The data proves that:
- 79% of sales people who use social media outsell their peers
- 72% of B2B buyers use social media to research purchase decisions
- 67% of B2B buyers rely on peer reviews when making decisions (19% in 2012)
- 82% of prospects can be reached via social media
So how do you start with social selling?
Set up professional brand: Your online personal brand is more important than ever. You need to build and demonstrate expertise People are looking for new insights and to be educated Authenticity, personalization and consistency are key to engagement. You need to build and grow your authority and credibility. Stay on top of industry trends to become a subject matter expert through effective social and digital listening.
Listen: follow and connect to people in the industry. Read and analyze – subscribe to newsletters. Join groups on LinkedIn. Set up lists in the Twitter to check in with the most relevant user. Use tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Google Alerts, etc.
Utilize content marketing: You can position yourself as a thought leader or get new leads from content like blog posts and white papers. If you need particular content, ask your Marketing team for it.
Interact: interact with people on social networking sites like Twitter and Quora.com. Build a rapport and connect with them on LinkedIn and keep them updated on important industry news and events.
The future of social selling
Cold calls and roladexes are gone. Connecting through social networks, warm introductions, and starting meaningful conversations are the future. By positioning yourself as an expert in your field, you will go from annoying cold caller to useful resource. When you stay top of mind, your prospects will find you when the time is right. The key is to be present, authentic, and build your credibility.